BlizzCon 2019 Schedule Available

Blizzard Entertainment revealed the BlizzCon 2019 schedule and map — and there are at least four blank panels after the Opening Ceremony. The fact these were not specified means we should expect a mix of 4 new expansions, or at least 1 brand-new game.

It might be safe to make a decent guess that these are among them:

  • World of Warcraft expansion
  • Diablo Immortal
  • Overwatch content

BlizzCon 2019 Schedule

Gamestar ad reveals Diablo 4 Leak in The Art of Diablo

The internet has been echoing a leak found casually by Gamestar in one of its magazine’s advertisement for the upcoming The Art of Diablo — by Jake Gerli (Author) and Robert Brooks (Author).

Translated from German, via Google Translator:

“Featuring over 500 artworks from Diablo, Diablo II, Diablo III and Diablo IV, this book features many noteworthy artworks created for the iconic action RPG of Blizzard Entertainment, which has given generations of fans everlasting nightmares.”

Diablo 4 leak

Fall 2019: Microsoft Surface Pro X, Surface Pro 7, and Surface Laptop 3

In the October 2 event, Microsoft unveiled their new Fall 2019 Surface products line-up. Some fans might be eyeing one of these new models for other reasons than Diablo Immortal, but in theory let’s see how any of these three products might fare as a Diablo Immortal potential device if you don’t have a phone (no pun); but you plan to upgrade an exisiting tablet or laptop, or just want to jump into the new Surface wave hype as a first-timer.

MICROSOFT SURFACE EVENT

How to play Diablo Immortal and any Android game on PC Tutorial

Blizzard Entertainment announced Diablo Immortal at BlizzCon 2018, and when asked whether Diablo Immortal could be played on the PC, the developer said only on Android and iOS devices. However, on November 5, 2018 there was a sneaky comments by NetEase to the chinese media that not many people know about:

Diablo Immortal was made with NetEase’s Messiah-engine (which supports PBR); and that NetEase is alright with players using Android emulators on their PC.

So you see, you don’t really need a phone to play Diablo Immortal. You can play Diablo Immortal on your PC using your keyboard and mouse.

Personally, I never had a smartphone until a few months after Diablo Immortal was announced when I got ahold of an older model with Android 6. Definitely, not android savvy… just like many of you. When I read that NetEase was ok with PC emulators, I immediately looked around in Google to read some articles and watch some videos.

I found one constant go-to Android emulator for the PC recommended by people. Even better… Mac players can install the emulator too.

Here is how to play Android games on your PC or Mac computer:

Step 1: Install BlueStacks. Login using your Gmail credentials.

Click the 3 lines icon to open the Settings, and choose “Advance.” There you can switch to the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus profile. That phone currently has the Android 9 Pie. Diablo Immortal at the moment doesn’t show up in earlier Android versions.

Step 2: Launch Google Play within BlueStacks. Type DIABLO IMMORTAL. Register to participate in the Diablo Immortal closed beta test using a Google email/Gmail address.

Step 3: Once Diablo Immortal goes live, install the game using Google Play within the Bluestacks window. However, for practice purposes, go ahead and install any NetEase game such as Crusaders of Light, or Knives Out.

Speculation: Blizzard Media Network for eSports and VOD Films/Shows?

Today, a new job opening for a Software Engineer (Mobile) requires the candidate to have affinity for Blizzard games and eSports; and next it says “The Blizzard Media Network team is responsible for building and supporting the video experience for Android and iOS media apps across Activision/Blizzard/King.”

Searching for the term “Blizzard Media Network” doesn’t show anything in search engines. Is this something that already exists, or is this something that is in development?

At first, I thought this was something akin to the Overwatch League app where you can watch eSport matches, and VODs — but things got murkier and more broad in scope.

As I kept reading through the bizarre job opening, the PLUS section requires the candidate to have experience working with content (live, vod) encoding and transcoding; experience in Broadcast/Broadband Television, Video-On-Demand; experience building video experiences for OTT devices (Roku, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire, etc.).

Full stop. This project is not just aiming to broadcast to the Android and iOS viewership. It is far more encompassing than just eSports. What does Roku, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, and Amazon Fire have in common? Films, Animated Series, 13-episode show series right onto your living room and bedroom’s TV.

This triggered a memory. Back on March 2019, this trademark news circulated around the internet. Whoa?!

Diablo downloadable films and movies trademark

Is the Blizzard Media Network meant to be some kind of Blizzard Netflix service putting together documentaries, eSports, films, animated shorts, animated TV series, cinematics, and so on? The job opening makes the March 2019 Diablo trademark start to make sense.

The Blizzard Media Network might be getting ready to broadcast films and series based on Warcraft, Diablo, Overwatch and other IPs. In theory, they could also allow you to play games straight from your TV, kinda like Google Stadia aims to do.

The job opening won’t only work alongside Blizzard Entertainment. He/She will work with Activision and King. It is an Activision Blizzard umbrella project. I have a feeling that the Blizzard Media Network might function as the Beverly Hills-based Activision Blizzard Studios platform to reach not only Netflix, but everyone.

Not bad for speculation. Will we ever hear about this at BlizzCon?

Activision Blizzard Studios

Job Opening: Blizzard Entertainment Needs A Game Producer, Diablo Immortal

Blizzard Entertainment posted a new job opening for a Diablo Immortal Game Producer (mid-senior level) about 9 hours before this posting. The same post was posted within an hour at Linkedin.

Rumors around the internet have Blizzard possibly releasing Diablo Immortal a week after BlizzCon 2019, but whoever have made the claim forgot about the Beta signup link at the bottom of the official Diablo Immortal website — which should happen at least 3-4 months before the official release date.

Check out the newest job opening below:

Game Producer, Diablo Immortal

We are looking for a versatile Game Producer to join the Diablo Immortal team. If you’re a highly organized individual with exceptional communication abilities and a proven aptitude for project management, let’s hear from you! Self-direction, follow-up skills, and collaboration with a cross-functional team are important, as is the ability to anticipate production issues and find solutions.

Responsibilities

  • Work with cross-discipline teams to craft and steward roadmaps and schedules.
  • Collaborate with internal and external teams to guide features from concept to implementation.
  • Facilitate communications, organization, and accountability across all departments and stakeholders to ensure high-level project goals are met
  • Help make informed decisions in conjunction with team leads on work methods, development pipeline, priorities, and available people
  • Assist with the creation, estimation, and tracking of major features, tasks, bugs, and everything in between.
  • Identify, communicate, and help resolve all roadblocks and bottlenecks that may prevent an on-time and high-quality delivery.
  • Communicate effectively with production leadership and team leads on project status, risks, and opportunities.
  • Laud achievements, shield troubles, and lead responsibly
  • Actively promote a collaborative team culture based on trust to align the team toward our goals.

Requirements

  • A minimum of 5 years’ experience in game production
  • Shipped multiple mobile games at a high level of quality
  • Fluent in both internal and external game development processes
  • Experience developing games with World-Class Intellectual Property
  • Practical, specific knowledge of how to run live ops on a mobile title
  • Experience tracking a complex project and providing support to clear blocking issues
  • Able to work with team leads, directors and external partners to align priorities
  • Able to effectively communicate with art, design, engineering, audio, and QA personnel
  • Experience with Jira project management tools
  • Exceptional verbal, written, and interpersonal communications skills for working with internal and external teams

Pluses

  • Fluency in spoken and written Simplified Chinese
  • Strong game testing experience
  • Scripting and other technical skills

Diablo III 2.6.6 Season 18 Patch Notes

Blizzard Entertainment has deployed Diablo III Patch 2.6.6 into the live realms introducing Season 18: “Season of the Triune.”

A pet has been added that will be available for players who pre-purchase Warcraft III: Reforged Spoils of War Edition (PC Only)

The buff for Season 18, the Season of the Triune, has been added:

Triune's Will: All abilities have a chance when hitting an enemy to spawn a circle that gives a power. Only one circle can be active at a time.

Triune of Love (Power): Players in the circle receive a 100% damage bonus while active.

Triune of Determination (Resource Reduction): Players in the circle receive a 50% discount on resources spent while active.

Triune of Creation (Cooldown Reduction): While standing in an active circle, any skills currently on cooldown come off of cooldown more quickly.

Developer Comment: The last couple of Seasonal buffs have been focused primarily on end-game content. We wanted to try something different this Season with a buff that was more beneficial to players regardless of where they might be in their Season Journey. Triune's Will can come into play as early as level 1 and continue to make an impact on your game experience from the beginning to the end of the Season, and we're looking forward to seeing how players leverage this ever-changing boost throughout their adventures!

Developer Comment: In addition, we received feedback from players during the PTR about colorblind accessibility. We've changed one of the blue-tinted circles to a darker, green earth tone that should stand out a lot more for affected players. We greatly appreciate your feedback!

  • Developer Note:
    There are additional specific notes below, but broadly for 2.6.6, we wanted to introduce a handful of new item powers targeted at two audiences: (1) certain classes with long-standing requests for balance/quality of life adjustments and (2) the broader player base for experimenting with Kanai's Cube. This means fewer class-specific new additions, but more additions that everyone has an opportunity to play with. We also experimented with making some of the craftable sets from Haedrig more appealing for fresh level 70's or players looking to maximize their farming runs. We hope to see some interesting new theorycrafting and tactics out of 2.6.6 and can't wait to see what the community does with this new loot!
  • Updated Item Notes: There are a number of notes below clarifying the intention of certain item functionalities. In a couple cases, such as with Flavor of Time, the item wasn't behaving properly during PTR per our intentions (which has been fixed). For others, we just wanted to provide more clarity about exactly how these items behave.
  • Flavor of Time
    • New Legendary Power:
      Pylon effects last twice as long.
    • Note: Only wearers of this item gain this effect. This is intended.
  • The Executioner
    • New Legendary Power:
      Attacks will slay enemies with less than (5-10%) health.
    • Note: This item's power does not work on followers. This is intended.
  • Stone Gauntlets
    • New Legendary Power:
      Getting attacked will slowly turn you to stone... (You gain 50% more armor, but your movement speed is reduced by 15% and attack speed is reduced by 20%. This effect stacks up to 5 times)
    • PTR Update: This item now displays a buff icon and has a clearer in-game description. Thank you for the feedback!
    • Note: Immunity to control-impairing effects can work against the reduced attack and movement speed penalties. This is intended.
  • Echoing Fury
    • New Legendary Power:
      Slaying enemies engulfs the wielder into a Frenzy. (Killing enemies increases your attack speed by 15% and movement speed by 5%. This effect stacks up to 5 times)
    • PTR Update: This item's power now works on kill assists and pet kills. Thank you for the feedback!
  • Squirt's Necklace
    • New Legendary Power:
      While not taking damage, your damage is increased by up to 100% and damage taken is increased by up to 50%.
    • PTR Update: This item now displays a buff icon. Thank you for the feedback!
  • Messerschmidt's Reaver
    • New Legendary Power:
      Reduce the remaining cooldown of one of your skills by 1 second when you slay an enemy.
    • PTR Update: This item's power now works on kill assists and pet kills. Thank you for the feedback!
  • Mortick's Brace
    • New Legendary Item:
      Wrath of the Berserker gains the effect of every rune.
    • Developer's Note:
      If you played during the Patch 2.2.0 PTR, you'll recognize this as an item that was later removed from the game before it went to live servers. At the time, Mortick's Brace gave too much power for a single item slot. However, the power curve of Diablo III has changed
      significantly
      since then and we're comfortable with bringing it back.
    • Developer's Note: We're not done with Barbarians, either. However, this is a change that required less testing and could be easily added to 2.6.6, so rather than waiting for a larger batch of changes, we saw no reason to hold this one back.
  • Spite
    • Note:
      This item can be crafted from the Blacksmith and is not a normal loot drop
    • New Legendary Power:
      Non-cleaving Gargantuans gain the cleave and chilling effects of the Humongoid rune.
  • Legacy of Dreams
    • New Legendary Gem:
      • While you have no set bonuses equipped, every Legendary item you have equipped increases your damage dealt by 3.75% and reduces your damage taken by 2%. (Max level 99)
      • Rank 25: This bonus is doubled for Ancient items.
    • Developer's Note:
      The end game opened up significantly with Season 17's Legacy of Nightmare's buff (and the community was clear about how much these new options were appreciated), but wanted to make this addition a more permanent fixture in a more streamlined way than simply making it baseline. This Legendary Gem should open that path up even further and at more opportunities than just late game Greater Rift pushing.
  • Crafted Sets
    • Note:
      The following sets have been significantly revised from their existing level 70 counterparts. Items crafted prior to 2.6.6 will continue to exist in their old forms but will
      not
      be updated after the patch. In addition, after the patch, the old recipes will no longer be available to craft and all players will need to re-acquire these recipes by finding the plans again through Horadric Caches or by killing Odious Collectors.
    • Sage's Journey
      • A Belt has been added to this set.
      • Haedrig the Blacksmith now automatically learns how to forge this set at Rank 12.
    • Captain Crimson's Trimmings
      • (2) Set Bonus
        • Regenerates 6000 Life per Second
        • Reduces cooldown of all skills by10%
          20%.
        • Now also reduces Resource Costs by 20%
      • (3) Set Bonus
        • Set bonuses have been replaced
          • Damage dealt is increased by your total percentage of Cooldown Reduction
          • Damage taken is reduced by your total percentage of Resource Cost Reduction
    • Aughild's Authority
      • (2) Set Bonus
        • Set bonuses have been replaced
          • Reduces damage taken by 15%
          • Increases damage dealt by 30%
      • (3) Set Bonus
        • Reduces damage from elites by 15%
          30%
        • Increases damage against elites by 15%
          30%
    • Cain's Destiny
      • (2) Set Bonus
        • Attack Speed increased by 8%
        • +50% Experience. (5.0% at level 70) (Moved from (3) Set Bonus)
      • (3) Set Bonus
        • When a Greater Rift Keystone drops, there is a 25% chance for an extra one to drop.
  • Fixed an error that occurred when reporting a player via a friend request
  • Fixed an error that occurred when saving an existing Friend Note without making changes

PTR-Specific Bug Fixes

  • Squirt's Necklace
    • Fixed an issue where the damage taken increase was not reaching the 50% cap
  • Captain Crimson's Trimmings
    • Fixed an issue where the bonus provided by this class set was subject to snapshotting

Nintendo Switch Lite Pre-Orders Open

With the official launch date approaching (September 20), the Nintendo Switch Lite is now available for pre-order for $199.99 in Turquoise, Yellow.

What is the difference of the Nintendo Switch Lite version? The main difference is its fully integrated controls and a built-in +Control Pad. Basically, you can’t remove the Joy-Con pads, and it is a handheld device only (meaning no TV gameplay mode). However, the device is compatible with all physical and digital Nintendo Switch games that support Handheld mode such as Super Mario Odyssey, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and more.

Nintendo Switch Lite Pre-Orders Open

ASUS ROG Phone 2 Details on July 23 – The Most powerful Gaming Phone of 2019

UPDATE: The ASUS ROG Phone 2 became available in the United States on September 24th. You can order it now.


Those who don’t have a phone, or plan to play Diablo Immortal (or give it a try) might like to hear that ASUS plans to reveal details about the ASUS ROG Phone 2 on July 23. It is confirmed that the device will be sold in China the same day.

So far the following details have leaked through the TENAA certification website.. the ASUS ROG Phone 2 consists of a 6.59″ AMOLED 18:9 display with 120Hz refresh rate (adjustable between 60Hz, 90Hz, or 120Hz); a 5,800mAh battery with a 30W fast-charger; the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus octa-core 7nm SoC clocking at 2.95Ghz; and Android 9 (PIE). At least two models have been approved by the TENAA Certification in the range of 8GB RAM and 12GB RAM. In terms of internal storage, the TENAA Certification lists three options: 128GB, 256GB, or 1TB.

Pricing is rumored to start around $640 (roughly translated from Chinese currency). We will have to wait until July 23 at an event in China to learn more details. ASUS is also slated to showcase the ASUS ROG Phone 2 at the ChinaJoy 2019 expo on August 1 in Shangai.

 

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